Success completes rare refuel
1 January 1970
HMAS Success continues to display her adaptability and capability with the completion of a unique astern replenishment evolution while deployed in the Middle East Region.
The Royal Australian Navy’s Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment Ship, currently deployed to Operation Manitou in support of Combined Maritime Forces operations, recently conducted the ship’s first recorded astern Replenishment at Sea (RAS).
Success transferred fuel to United States Coast Guard Patrol Boat USCG Aquidneck on 4 March 2015 in the Gulf of Oman via an astern RAS.
Warrant Officer (WO) Stewart “Jack” Ripper said he has only conducted three astern RAS evolutions during his 37 years as a boatswain.
“This provided a unique opportunity to enhance our seamanship skills in presenting a different method to deliver fuel to our customer,” WO Ripper said.
WO Ripper supervised the quarterdeck aspects of the evolution, conducted by the Boatswain Mate sub department who laid out the fuelling hoses for delivery to the receiving ship.
He explained a RAS usually occurs with ships alongside one another and the refuelling hose passed to the receiving ship via a Standard Tension Replenishment Alongside Method (STREAM) rig.
“Refuelling our own patrol boats is usually achieved via a ‘raft up’ situation, where both ships stop in the water, but this type of RAS allows for the replenishment to continue while underway.
“In the case of an astern RAS, the refuelling hose is streamed from the stern of the ship into the water and requires the receiving ship to pick up the hose out of the water.
“As Aquidneck took station on Wednesday evening, she maintained a distance of only 80-90 yards from Success’ stern.
“A team of Boatswain’s Mates were closed up on the Quarterdeck ready to pass the hose, and onlookers took the opportunity to view the unusual evolution from the flight deck in the red glow of the last few hours of daylight.”
Task Force (TF) 53 tasks Success to provide logistical support to coalition ships in the region operations working with different navies, different fuel types, and ships with varied of sizes and requirements
Success also contributes to counter-piracy and counter-terrorism, however logistics remains her primary tasking.
The ship will return to Fleet Base East in Sydney, Australia in June.
Her main customers in the Middle East have been coalition warships which are part of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) and ships of the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR).
HMAS Success is the 59th rotation to the Middle East by a Royal Australian Navy vessel since the first Gulf War in 1990.